Peppercorns are berries from an evergreen climbing vine called the Piper nigrum that grows in India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Black, green, and white peppercorns all come the same plant… the difference in taste and color comes from the different ways they are harvested.
Black peppercorns: Berries are harvested just before they ripen and are placed in piles for a few days to ferment. Then they are spread out to dry in the sun. The peppercorns get smaller and turn black.
White peppercorns: Berries are allowed to fully ripen before they are harvested. They are then soaked in water to soften the outer coating so it can be removed. Then the peppercorns are allowed to dry in the sun until they are bleached white.
Green peppercorns: Berries are harvested while they are still immature. Green peppercorns are packed in brine and are “less peppery” than the black or white.
Pink peppercorns: This is not a true peppercorn, but is instead a berry from two similar trees that grow in South America. Pink peppercorns may be shades of pink or red and have a more delicate flavor. They are also very expensive.
Wild turkeys in our meadow